Nada Shawish is Communications Specialist at Islamic Relief USA.
“People are dying and they need our help. If we cannot see that, then we have no right to look away from the consequences of inaction.”
–The Independent, September 3, 2015
The world is currently in the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and most of the refugees are Syrians. More than half of them are under the age of 18.
There’s a lot of work to do to remedy this massive tragedy. While leaders bicker about how they’re going to reverse a crisis that started under their noses, there’s a lot we as individuals can do to help refugees right now—Today. This moment. Yes, even from behind your computer screen.
1. Raise your voice of reason
Most refugees say that they take such dangerous journeys to get to Europe because they feel they have no safer option.A realistic chance of getting asylum via legal means could help this issue. A well-managed resettlement of a significant amount of refugees could help control the flow of people traveling via dangerous routes.This includes the Gulf States taking some responsibility by taking in some of the refugees. After the Vietnam war, nearly 1.3 million refugees were resettled in Western states, and guess what? Societies on rich continents didn’t collapse.
Hold your government accountable and ask that they contribute to a viable solution rather than exacerbating the refugee problem. Write, call and email your government officials. Include that you want an end to the war in Syria and a real resettlement plan for refugees. It is not good for the future of any country that inevitable floods of people are fleeing persecution and violence and erratically arriving at borders with no real plan for integrating them into society.
2. Share information
Social media is a powerful information tool and changing public opinion is important. Advocating for Syrians and rallying voices online are at your fingertips. If you can spread knowledge on the issues concerning Syrian refugees, you’re helping more people become aware and inspiring more people to take action.
Here are some ready posts to get you started:
3. Do for one what you would do for all
Make a donation (whatever you’re able to give helps) to a NGO (non-governmental organization) that has been recognized for doing humanitarian work in this crisis overseas. There are many to choose from. Financial support can help refugees get food, shelter, water, clothing and medical care—essentially, your donations can help refugees survive without having to make desperate decisions that put their lives in even more danger.
Did you know: Islamic Relief USA has been named a top-charity to help Syrians?
4. Buy items that refugees need directly
Amazon.com started a wishlist where you can purchase items that Syrian refugees need. With every purchase you make on AmazonSmile, you can choose that a portion of your purchase price goes to Islamic Relief USA too. You shop, Amazon gives.
Humble yourself before God—this human tragedy is a culmination of the terrible way we treat one another on Earth. It comes out of greed, arrogance and pride. There must be a collective effort made to look inside and take responsibility for this senseless violence towards one another. Humbling ourselves is a good place to start.
“O Allah, Almighty. Please watch over all those travelers who do not wish to travel. Who have been forced from their homes and who have faced unimaginable struggle. Make their journey easy for them. Guide them to relief.
O Allah, have mercy on us for our sins – forgive us for this tragedy and let us be among those who do only good work for the betterment of humanity for your sake. Ameen.”